Robin Lopez, or “ROLO” as he’s affectionately called these days, became a fan favorite here in Portland almost overnight. Rip City loves its weirdos, and ROLO fits right in here with his unwieldy hair, his nerdist tendencies (comic books, video games, Disney collectibles, anything fantasy related), and his categorical goofiness. But more than anything, it was his all-around hustle on the court that endeared him to fans. That, and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyluLjS55Hs)
Last season, Lopez was the defensive bulwark of a Trailblazers team that sorely needed it. They ranked among the bottom of the league in all the major defensive categories two seasons ago, and Lopez’s sturdy presence in the paint yielded substantial progress on that end. By most measures, it was the best season of his career, and he was in the conversation for the Most Improved Player award as he recorded career highs in rebounds (8.5) blocks (1.7) and assists (0.9), and even ended up breaking the franchise record for offensive rebounds in a single season (326). He also received the Maurice Lucas Award for community outreach, specifically the “Read Big” literacy campaign.
On twitter, Lopez is a bonafide and unabashed goofball, whether he’s drawing portraits of Emmy Rossum, Ingrid Bergman, and Zooey Deschanel (he’s actually pretty talented), taking selfies with his cat, watching Forrest Gump while weeping, or delivering staid opinions on the new Girl Meets World sitcom.
So naturally, everyone is expecting he and newcomer Chris “Caveman” Kaman to make strange bedfellows this season.